Hormones! We all have them! They’re molecules that help with regulating important processes in your body. Hormones are usually made in one part of the body, and they move through the bloodstream and act on receptors in different organs and your brain.The hormones in your body all work together to keep you healthy and happy. There are many complex pathways of hormones interacting with each other, and an imbalance in one hormone can lead to imbalances in others. Some of the more well-known hormones are described here.
Testosterone is the main male sex hormone. It’s normal for men to have a decline in testosterone levels with age, but sometimes the levels drop sooner than they should. This seems to be increasingly common. Some of the warning signs of low testosterone levels include depression, weight gain, decreased sex drive, and fatigue. There are many factors that play into men’s health, and many natural approaches to supporting men in being healthy.
Estrogen and progesterone are the two main female sex hormones produced by the ovaries. In a healthy woman, these two hormones balance each other out. Estrogen helps the uterine lining develop and is important for ovulation. Estrogen levels normally peak just before ovulation, and then drop off in the second half of a woman’s cycle.
Progesterone maintains the uterine lining and is necessary for embryo development. Normally, progesterone levels start to rise just before ovulation, and peak around day 21. If a woman does not become pregnant, progesterone levels fall, the woman has her period, and the cycle begins again.
It is common to see relatively high levels of estrogen and low levels of progesterone. This is called estrogen dominance, and might show up as headaches, anxiety, food cravings, weight gain, and PMS.
The thyroid gland is essential in regulating your metabolism and energy levels. There are four main thyroid hormones: TSH, T3, T4, and rT3, and you need to have proper levels of all of these. Read more about the thyroid and conditions.
Naturopathic medicine has many tools to help with hormone management. Healthy levels of good fats and cholesterol in your diet provides your body with the building blocks it needs to synthesize hormones. Supplementing with vitamins and minerals that work in different metabolic pathways helps various hormones get converted into their active forms, meaning you get more energy, less PMS, and greater overall health.
Herbal medicine is an excellent way to help balance hormones of all kinds. Herbs like chaste tree and black cohosh are great for female hormone balancing, and herbs like saw palmetto and nettle for male hormones. Adrenal hormones can be supported with withania and licorice root, and thyroid hormones with iodine-rich seaweed.
With hormone problems, there is often an imbalance of two hormones that would normally balance each other out – like estrogen and progesterone. Acupuncture can be a great adjunct to a hormone regulating protocol, because it works to balance whatever is out of balance in the body.
Let us show you how naturopathic medicine can help with hormone related issues! We would really love to! Call and book an appointment!